Thursday, 18 October 2012

Lecture 2 - The gaze and the media

'according to usage and conventions which are at last being questioned but have by no means been overcome - men act and woman appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at' (Berger 1927)

Hans Memling Vanity (1485)

-Angle of the mirror is incorrectly rendered, inaccurate representation. distorted double view.
-The painter makes the painting, so that he and the viewers an enjoy the vanity.
-Allows us to look at her, as she looks at her self.

The same idea is used in advertising. The tendency to depict the female body, the gaze.

Alexandre Cabanel 'Birth of venus' 1863
-Woman as a goddes from the sea.
-Looked over by cherubs
-Virginal woman
-Her position is her laying there, her head cast away, covering her face.
-Concentration of focus on her body, not on her as a person.

Sophie Dahl for Opium
-Reclining figure
-Overly sexual pose
-Was too sexual, so had to rotate for advertising. Less concentration on the body, eyes are drawn elsewhere.
-Compositional trick.

Titan's Venus of Urbino, 1538
-Knowledge of our presence in the painting
-Passive nude
-Covers herself with her hand, subtle and casual. It's compared to Manet 'Olympia' 1863.
-Manet's woman in the painting is portrayed as a prostitute.
Position of the body, she lifts her head as if she's addressing it and covers herself more firmly.

Manet - Bar at the Folies Bergeres, 1882
-Endless loop, back and forth of the gaze
-Bar lady, ready to serve, arms open.
-Impossible reflection in the background of the image.
-Allows us to see her from two positions at once.
-The gentleman is a representation of us, the viewer.
-She looks at us, return of the gaze.

Jeff Wall 'Picture For Women' 1979
-The photographers studio is reflected in the mirror
-Womans gaze is also reflected int he composition.
-Repetition of division within the picture.
-The viewer is the third wall, staged shot, a reminder of the return of the gaze.

Coward, R 1984
-The camera in contemporary media has been put to use of the extension of the male gaze at women on the streets.
-Seemingly unnoticed, dont consciously take notice.
-The use of sunglasses means that she is inable to look back, we are free to look at her.

Eva Herzigiva, 1994
-Wonderbra campain.
-Normalisation of nudity in the street.

Coward, R 1984
-Peeping tom is a movie about a male who spys on woman
-His voyeurism leeds him to murder.
-Films her death.

Semi- nude male
-Same treatment to the male body, the gaze is not the same.

D&G add
-Typically portrayed in a active manor.
-The gaze is represent in the image.
-Challenge to the gaze.

Marylin: William Travilas dress from 'The seven year itch' 1955
-Looks at the way that the camera breaks the body up into pieces.
-Dismantled in a way.

-Perfect environment for vioreuism is the cinema.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
-A visual spectacle to be consumed.
-An overly sexualised object.
-Pleasure is in the fantasy of her destruction.
 -A pleasure in look at a sexually exaggerated character.

Artemisia Gentileschi
-Portrayed as active and gruesome.
-Forceful manor.
-Film still image almost.
-Very physical, the womans arms are portrayed more than any other part of her body.

Cindy Sherman- Film still 6 1977
-Sherman insisted they arent made with the gaze theory in mind.
-Reclining figure.
-Drawn to the characters face.
-Includes a mirror, but no reflection, no implication of us catching her in the act of viewing herself.
-Shermans work interrupts the gaze.
-Staged to look as though its a captured moment.
-Body is not posed in a sexual way.

Barbara Kruger
'Your gaze hits the side of my face' 1981
-Figure in the image is turning away from the gaze
-Feminist work

Sarah Lucas 'eating a banana' 1990
-Depicting the self consciousness of eating a banana in public.
-Critiquing herself.
-Side glance, almost saying whats your opinion.

Tracey Emin 'Money Photo' 2001
-Knowing reference to the past.
-Vulgar to make money from her art.
-Personal attack.

Amanda know trial
-Joan smith, looks at the way she was described in court.
-Reinvention of the witch trials in 1486.
-Gaze of the media
-People who are portrayed in the public eye.

Social Networking is used to perpetuate the male gaze. the gaze of the media
-The body is broken into fragments-could be any female.

Susan Sontag 1979 'On photography'
- To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed.

Reality Television:

Big Brother:
-The design of the chair
-The portrayal of woman and men is designed to be known as 'to be looked-at-ness'

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